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 The Picatinny Voice

Date: November 28, 2011

Picatinny designated as the DoD's joint center of excellence for guns and ammunition.

Picatinny designated as the DoD's joint center of excellence for guns and ammunition.
A ceremony was held Nov. 18 to designate Picatinny Arsenal as the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition. From left, Dr. Gerardo Melendez, director of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; Capt. Andrew Buduo, commander, NAVSEA Warfare Center, Indianhead Division; Richard Eastman, representing Robert Maguire, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for New Jersey; Brig. Gen. Jonathan A. Maddux, Picatinny Arsenal Commanding General; John Fischer, Director, Defense Laboratory Enterprise Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering; Anthony M. Bucco, New Jersey assemblyman, and Col. John Boule, New York district commander, Army Corps of Engineers.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal marked its designation as the Department of Defense's Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition with a special ceremony Nov. 18.

The ceremony brings to a close six years of effort that began in September 2005 when the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission called for creating an integrated weapons and armaments specialty site for guns and ammunition at Picatinny.

The joint center at Picatinny is focused on streamlining the acquisition process to deliver quality-engineered guns and ammunition solutions when and where they are needed, on time and at the right price.

During the ceremony, officials unveiled a bronze plaque commemorating the installation's new designation.

As part of the BRAC requirement that began in 2005, three Navy buildings were constructed at Picatinny.

"Specific to the R&D community, once you get this place up and running and the activities going, what you're going to have is the bulk of the activities in the domain in which we work being executed out of here for two services – for the Army and for the Navy," explained Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center Director Dr. Gerardo Melendez.

"What that means for us is that we have more talent, more facilities, different missions - all of those which we can leverage more so than we could before. Plus you have the other bonus that you have everyone together, and that co-location really helps."

While different services have different missions, Melendez says that there are many similarities between their weapons systems.

"Even though we have different missions - we deal predominately with land components and they deal predominately with sea - there are a lot of underlying areas that are applicable to both of us and are common. What we're looking for is to really establish R&D (research and development) programs that we can do together and then once we develop the new technology look at the application for our respective services."

"Efficiencies are going to be one of the drivers for us given the forecast over the next few years. So being able to leverage with each other and bring efficiencies along the way is going to become more and more important," Melendez said.

"Establishing this Center of Excellence will greatly improve our ability to support emerging joint warfighter capabilities. Having our PHS&T (packaging, handling, storage and transportation) employees and our small arms engineers co-located with the Army counterparts benefits both services," said Capt. Andrew Buduo, Commander of the NAVSEA Warfare Center, Indianhead Division.

Buduo said Picatinny had already seen some of the results of that.

"The Navy has already enjoyed these benefits and our Army counterparts were able to use the new Navy Test Range to perform lot acceptance testing for 155 howitzer ammunition while their range was being refurbished. I'm certain such collaborative efforts will continue into the future."